Monday, July 17, 2006

Truth is stranger than fiction...

After all my blogging about India, it turns out that the Indian government may or may not have decided to block blogspot.com. Oh well, easy come, easy go. I guess people in India don't really need to read about my silly comments about their nice country anyway.

In other news, now that we're back in the 'States, we can realistically evaluate my capuccino habit. Turns out that a tall double cap is a pretty reasonable caloric investment, as long as I don't go for the soy version, which has too much sugar.

The trip to Montreal right after India pretty much flattened me, but I'm feeling much better today. Our sole accomplishment for the weekend was to go shopping and get Andrea some very cute clothes at Abercrombie and Fitch.

One observation about India, Montreal and Chicago: people in India look a lot healthier than people in America, on average. I don't mean to minimize whatever troubles people there may be having, but it's clear that the American diet of focused gluttony isn't serving us well. That sounds harsh; I don't mean it to be. I don't think we've set out to be gluttonous, but we're just in such a situation of immense prosperity that we have to work to avoid it.

It's kind of sad - I think our biggest problem as a culture (aside from our habit of institutional killing) is housing, even though we have many fewer people per square inch than India. Many of the dwellings we saw in India would be illegal here - there are plenty of folks there who live under a perfectly good roof, but their house is basically a mini-quonset hut made of bamboo and trash bag plastic, with no door, no lock. This isn't exactly a palatial setting, but consider what someone here lives in if they only have the resources to build a house like the one I'm describing: they live on the street, with no roof at all, because it's illegal to live in a house like that here.

3 Comments:

Blogger Will Shetterly said...

Food in America isn't just about gluttony, or at least, not in the classic sense. It's a cheap feel-good drug, which is why poor people in the US tend to be fatter than rich ones, who can stick to wine and cocaine, and play tennis when they feel like doing something.

Monday, July 17, 2006 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Ted Lemon said...

No offense, Will, but I don't see a lot of people in the U.S. who look healthy, whether they're rich or poor. And we're staying in a very wealthy neighborhood in Chicago right now, and we just came from staying in a town with a lot of poor folks, so I've seen a pretty good cross-section.

It may well be that there's some correlation between weight and wealth, but frankly it's noise. My point is that there is a marked difference in the level of health I see in people here versus in India.

And it ought to be the opposite way, oughtn't it? They have crappy sanitation, flies everywhere, garbage in the streets. We have tap water that's safe to drink. You perhaps have no idea what a blessed joy it is to be able to brush your teeth in the sink instead of using bottled water. But you've probably been to Mexico, so maybe you do know. Most folks in India couldn't afford to get a CAT scan or a tooth X-ray. Many Americans have "free" health care.

I guess part of the deal there is that if you have a major health catastrophe, you die, whereas here you might linger. But I really don't buy that as the whole cause.

I think there's something really wrong here - I didn't play it up too much in what I said in my post, because I more wanted to get people to think than I did to propose what they should think. But it bears thinking about.

Karmically, it's easy to explain. As a people, we condone killing. We eat meat to excess. We believe shock and awe will make us safe, and that torture is okay if the people you're torturing are evil. We believe in capital punishment.

The karmic result of killing is that (a) you have poor health and that (b) the people you love die younger than they should. Maybe that's a little too out there for the average reader, and I'm sure you could come up with a nice scientific explanation. But right now nobody's trying, because we think we're better off than people in India. Ironically, they think we're better off too.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 12:09:00 AM  
Anonymous nn said...

The Indian blocking of blogspot and typepad sites was really a new low. I was able to visit most of the blogs I frequent by using the proxy masking sites, but unable to make any posts... good thing it has been called off now...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 12:27:00 PM  

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